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Pssst, kid, wanna work for peanuts? (Mod: Querying low-priced job)
Thread poster: xxx00000000
xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
Jun 13, 2004

Here's the latest way way way below-minimum-wage opportunity:

5 files of financial text, inlcuding a 100 page economic report, a 50 page investing strategy guide, some sample newsletters, and fund prospectus documents.
Volume and pricing: 190 pages [ TOTAL: 400.00 USD ]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2004-06-13 19:51]


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Fabiana Papastefani-Pezzoni  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 16:44
Member (2003)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Woooooowwwwwww...!!!!!! Jun 13, 2004

Esther Pfeffer wrote:

Here's the latest way way way below-minimum-wage opportunity:

5 files of financial text, inlcuding a 100 page economic report, a 50 page investing strategy guide, some sample newsletters, and fund prospectus documents.
Volume and pricing: 190 pages [ TOTAL: 400.00 USD ]


Hello, Esther

This is terrible. I have to admit, I laughed when I red your thread title. It really sounds like that. From what you are mentioning here, the documents sound quite important ones for any company, and wanting to translate them to present them somewhere(I guess) even more important....or what? Most probably they have contacted the wrong agency, and I would be so tempted to write in the BB profile of this agency (if any): "They offer/pay peanuts", but this is against the rules, (un)fortunately.

Fabiana


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cendrine marrouat
English to French
+ ...
Pssst, kid, wanna work for peanuts? Jun 13, 2004

True, and then they want us to work for free?
I think it's high time we went on strike guys! Everybody does, amd why shouldn't we?
Honestly, the more I deal with companies, the more I'm disgusted by the lack of respect and gratitude we get from people...


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:44
English to German
+ ...
Not the whole story... Jun 13, 2004

Hi all,
Esther, I'm afraid you may have overlooked part of the job posting. The proposed deal involves a share in commission flows for marketing of new accounts. Whether or not that is a good business proposition is a different story, of course - but that's a decision everyone will need to make for themselves.

Even so, the figure quoted looks very low indeed, so just to make sure I contacted them to double-check.

Cendrine...
I think it's high time we went on strike guys! Everybody does, and why shouldn't we?

Because you're self-employed, aren't you? Remember that it's your decision whether or not a proposed deal is worthwhile.

Best regards, Ralf


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cendrine marrouat
English to French
+ ...
Pssst, kid, wanna work for peanuts? Jun 13, 2004

I forgot to say that I was joking.
But in any case, it's a shame not to receive more consideration for what we do. I am a little pissed and I wanted to express my opinion.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:44
English to German
+ ...
There's a serious issue here, though Jun 13, 2004

Hi Cendrine,
I forgot to say that I was joking.

I figured that much...
But there's a serious issue behind your joke: as a freelance translator, you're an independent entrepreneur. That means that you decide which jobs to take, and which to turn down. By the same token, it also means that you'll have to face the consequences of such decisions - no free lunch, as they say.

But in any case, it's a shame not to receive more consideration for what we do. I am a little pissed and I wanted to express my opinion.

Fair enough. If you feel you don't get sufficient consideration (financial and/or otherwise), you may want to consider whether you might be targeting the wrong clientele.

I know that talking about marketing is much easier than doing it successfully, but we need to be aware of what it takes to be economically successful.

Best regards, Ralf


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:44
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Not serious at all Jun 13, 2004

This offer is not serious at all, at least that is my impression. I just signed a contract that combines marketing and translation tasks.
Serious companies pay you reasonable prices for your translation work, they pay extra for marketing, because you will need the money to do the work, or do you work 26 hours a day, and they will offer you a percentage of the turnover in the target territory.
The numbers we are talking for serious offers in this area of combined consultancy/business are a magnitude higher (per month) than the offer that is on the table here.

This is not serious, and everybod has a right to be angry about it, but Ralf is right in one point.

Just do not accept this kind of jobs.


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cendrine marrouat
English to French
+ ...
So true Jun 13, 2004

sarmb wrote:

This offer is not serious at all, at least that is my impression. I just signed a contract that combines marketing and translation tasks.
Serious companies pay you reasonable prices for your translation work, they pay extra for marketing, because you will need the money to do the work, or do you work 26 hours a day, and they will offer you a percentage of the turnover in the target territory.
The numbers we are talking for serious offers in this area of combined consultancy/business are a magnitude higher (per month) than the offer that is on the table here.

This is not serious, and everybod has a right to be angry about it, but Ralf is right in one point.

Just do not accept this kind of jobs.


Yes, that's true and I totally agree with the two of you.
The only problem I find about all that is that most people have to start one day (as I did myself not so long ago), and you have to eat and pay your rent and taxes and so on...
The point of my message is to talk about a reality that is increasingly true: if you don't accept low tariffs, you won't work.
That's why I reacted to the first message.
Maybe I don't have good marketing skills (it's very likely true! ) but there's one thing I hate. Being rejected everywhere for rates that are apparently too high because I studied and worked very hard for it! Plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc. make their own rates and it's a "take it or leave it" situation. Nobody complains about that. Why should we shut up and accept low paid jobs under the excuse that we don't deserve to be paid what we deserve?
If someone has an answer for that, please let me know...
Of course, we are all free to make our own decisions. But if some didn't accept the jobs, we wouldn't even have to worry about our own choices.


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Oleg Rudavin  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 16:44
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Take it or leave it Jun 14, 2004

cendrine marrouat wrote:

Yes, that's true and I totally agree with the two of you.
The only problem I find about all that is that most people have to start one day (as I did myself not so long ago), and you have to eat and pay your rent and taxes and so on...
The point of my message is to talk about a reality that is increasingly true: if you don't accept low tariffs, you won't work.

Plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc. make their own rates and it's a "take it or leave it" situation. Nobody complains about that. Why should we shut up and accept low paid jobs under the excuse that we don't deserve to be paid what we deserve?
If someone has an answer for that, please let me know...


It's interesting that I came to the same principle through experience, and presently my average rates are probably a bit higher than average in the industry. With them, I'm very busy - that said, local rates being even lower than the quoted ones.

Translation is probably an occupation most suitable for internet; the other side of it is that competition becomes global in the literal meaning of the word - coming from countries where the general price levels are lower, and so are the rates. We are facing the situation when the rates are stabilizing throughout the world, getting lower for those who enjoyed highest rates in the industry and soaring up for those used to work for next to nothing. And yes, take it or leave it; those ready to work for peanuts do and will while others don't and won't and have little idle time on their hands


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:44
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Would you make your lawyer the same offer? Jun 14, 2004

I suggest we all go and edit our profiles NOW - and our homepages or whatever we have, and add a line about 'you get what you pay for,' or 'top professional at professional rates'. The more creative the better, as long as the message is clear.

One translator says simply 'not cheap, not fast but good'

and another puts his rates clearly for everyone to see - and gets customers who think 'wow, anything that expensive has to be good!"

If you want to do jobs at a low price for friends or work for charities for free, that's fine - poor people need help too. But don't advertise that sort of thing to the big companies who can afford lawyers and consultants at top rates.

They don't look for the cheapest designer, consultant, lawyer or auditor. They want the best and they pay for service. So when these well-paid professionals have finished, why should their work be handed over to the amateur with the lowest price for translation?

Now I have to get back and earn the rates I demand ... Best of luck everyone!

[Edited at 2004-06-14 11:45]


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 08:44
Spanish to English
people are entitled to dream Jun 14, 2004

I wouldn't worry about that ad so much, I honestly can't see anyone working for that rate, even if they live in the back of beyond. Less than two dollars a page, and heaven knows how they define a page.

I remember when I was flat hunting seeing advertisements in the free ads asking for three-bedroom apartments in the best part of town for ridiculously low rents, and the converse, flats for rent for way over the top prices. It doesn't mean anyone answers them.

When it doesn't cost a penny to advertise, some people hallucinate, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.


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cendrine marrouat
English to French
+ ...
It's not a question of sleep. Jun 14, 2004

Some people will accept the job, because they need to work, I'm sure!

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Julie Arbon  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:44
French to English
+ ...
Re; it's not a question of sleep Jun 14, 2004

cendrine marrouat wrote:

Some people will accept the job, because they need to work, I'm sure!


You are right Cendrine, there are people who will accept the job simply to gain some 'precious experience' to put on an otherwise lacking resume/CV. In the beginning, people may be so desperate to get 'a foot in the door' that they would almost pay to work! (I have previously considered working for free myself, but have so far only offered such services to NPOs.)


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xxx00000000
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Cleaning houses Jun 14, 2004

cendrine marrouat wrote:

Some people will accept the job, because they need to work, I'm sure!


For anybody who would be tempted, remember that cleaning houses pays at the very least $50 per half day of 3-4 hours.

Esther, looking for a cleaning person


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cendrine marrouat
English to French
+ ...
Pssst, kid, wanna work for peanuts? Jun 14, 2004

You are right, and I laughed after reading your last post!
Honestly, the problem here is very serious and I think it transcends the question of choices.
It would be necessary to prevent companies that offer such tariffs from posting...
In my case, if the company offers low rates, they need to be human and manage conflicts that you may encounter with dishonest clients. They have to offer a certain security and some respect.
I work with one of these companies. The rates are not very high, but at the same time, any conflicts are solved to my benefit, I am paid in time and the manager accepts any deadline from me.
Yet, most companies offer low price and no sympathy for translators. I remember once receiving the simple answer: "No way! Never write us back!" for refusing to be paid 0.04 US dollar per word for a financial document.
Aren't you wondering?


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